The story of Atento :-)
I would like to share a bit of background on Atento because he is going to be a stunning boy and hopefully if we are lucky, also a breeding boy. I am saying lucky because even though I kept breedings to him in the contract, I would never force it if he would seem like he is having a hard time with it or if it would go against his wellbeing in any sort of way. I do not think this will happen, however you never know until the horse gets older and I really believe that these "details" should be decided by the horse ultimately. That seems fair and we should do everything to make the horse happy and content.
So, anyway, Atento came to my life at the beginning of last year when I was spending 3 months in Spain helping a friend of mine to reorganize his business. It was many hours and so much work but of course a break here and there was needed, otherwise we would all go crazy. So, whenever i had a moment, I would go recharge and spend time with his horses. He breeds PREs as many of the well known business people do in Spain and has about 100 of them. Yes, a lot. He has compiled some of the best mothers I have ever seen during my years in Spain and he knows it. So, getting a horse out of him to purchase is not an easy task :-) Anyway, that year Atento was a yearling and he was THE HORSE you noticed right away whem you came there. He caught everybodys attention and of course everybody wanted to buy him. I was no different. When I saw him I was right away all over him :-) This breed is like a drug, as we all know it :-) He was special and it was obvious. And then I found out about his bloodlines. I know his dam because I know our mutual friends who found her for him and we all know her original breeder and so the whole family and what kind of PREs come out of this family and these lines. The mother line is incredible and this was her last foal. And then I found out Nico, a personal horse of the Moreno de La Cova owner, out of his very best mother mare, is the sire. He does not sell breedings at all to his horse, this was a favor among friends to my friend. Well, so to make a long story short, you are looking at the mother line of Atento coming from the very old Granda lines and a father line of the best of the best of Moreno de la Cova. If you know these horses a bit, you know what this means :-)
We are looking at a very traditional baroque looking PRE type with exceptional character, good height (Atento is now about 16 hands as a 2.5 year old), with a lot of bone and very good movement. And with some luck, of course you never know until you try, he will pass this on as he has the best kind of foundation for it.
So, when I started spending time with him in Spain and he kept following me around like a puppy, it became a problem :-) This breed can be addictive as I am sure you know very well :-) And there were so many signs too.... I really tried to be reasonable but at some point it was just getting too much :-) He would stand by the gate and wait for me when I was not there, he would say hello when he sensed I am coming, it was just ridiculous. But of course, my friend was not going to sell him. He turned down so many offers for him, he was going to stay. And really, who could blame him? Whenever somebody would come to see the horses, they would stop when they saw him and that is the horse they wanted. Nobody else could compare. It was actually too funny at some point :-)
Well, so to get on with the story.... Three months is a long time and even though I never really pushed him at all, one of these days he came to me and made me an offer. Even he could not ignore this any longer :-) And of course, as thrilled and honored as I was, this made the situation even more problematic :-) Dobres was already in the picture of course (btw, tried to resist him for 2 years too :-) and the very last thing I could do was to get yet another boy. But I knew that he is special and if I ever have a girl that would compliment him, he would be the one to breed to. And my heart knew he belongs with me, one way or another and that I am supposed to play a role in his life. And I knew the kind of life that would await for him if he would stay there. We all know what kind of a life the horses have in Spain, even in the best of places. It is just not the same as my idea of a perfect home. And even though my friend does much more for his horses than the majority of places in Spain, it is still the Spanish Way in many respects. And I wanted a better life for Atento. I could just not leave him there when everything just sort of happened like this by itself and seemed like it was meant to be.
So, yes, you guessed it. Atento was purchased and I brought him over here as a yearling. He showed how exceptional he was from the second he arrived here. He never set a foot wrong, he arrived looking like he never even travelled, let alone for 3 days. They always arrive at least a little bit "tired" looking both in their condition and in their demeanor and they are a bit nervous etc at the very least. But Atento was a picture perfect stunning yearling at the time of his arrival and he behaved from the very second like this was so normal and known. I really admired his heart and character during my time with him here. And while I was debating with myself what to do and what is best for him, a very loving and "perfect" lady fell in love with him and he very fast became her soulmate. It was also like it was meant to be. It took just 2 weeks for her to show up. Coincidence? Hardly :-)
So, we have the perfect ending here if I can say it that way... or beginning :-) Atento has his soulmate who would do everything for him. They have been together for a year already and just sent these photos, which I am sharing. He is being spoiled by the whole family and he has a dream life that he would never get if he would have stayed in Spain. I kept breedings as I mentioned and it all worked out. I miss him of course but he is not very far from me and so I can always go visit. And my heart is very happy for him and very grateful to his soulmate for showing up at the right time and giving him such a home. And of course to my friend who let him go :-)